“A scrub is a guy that thinks he’s fly and is also known as a busta..”
Yes. We all know and still live by (don’t even try it, boo) the words provided by Ms. Chili on the ultimate triflin’ gentlmen kiss-off anthem, “No Scrubs,” TLC’s Billboard chart bulldozing single which served as the second single from their now two decade old (!!!!!) third studio album, Fanmail.
And of course, you still betta in ’99, Ms. T-Boz and sigh..Ms. Left Eye.
A strong, sexy record packed with TLC‘s trademark sass (“If They Knew,” “I’m Good at Being Bad), hardcore life truth (“Unpretty,” and of course, “No Scrubs”), baby makin’ ballads (“Dear Lie,” “I Miss You So Much) and interludes with a diva laced robotic voice named Vic E (hey, gurl!), the globally dominating set proved that our now decade owning legendary music trio still had the chops and chants to get our complete attention…and that they certainly did with this f@#king record.
However, as much as Fanmail was the TLC comeback record that us late ’90s music kids were thirsty for, it was beyond that and cemented these fierce music women as true creative redemption artists that could withstand the Pebbles rain and so, so much more through the art of music.
So, here’s 6 reasons why you should rip open TLC’s still standout Fanmail right this very second…and our journey begins on the mail room dance floor with a little “Silly Ho” action….
1.Because we ALL need a little more “Silly Ho” lovin’ in our lives…. Although “No Scrubs” was the behemoth smash number one single that put our lovely ladies back into our CD Player‘d lives (and into a handful of Grammy nods a bit later down the road), it was actually lead buzz single “Silly Ho” that served up the sassy message that TLC was….back. Although there was no video for the T-Boz conquered cut, it’s still just as ready and underrated as ever, so we should all turn this classic Fanmail banger up right now as this is one “Silly Ho” we’ll always get down with on the dance floor.
2.”No Scrubs” allowed…..ever. We’ve already made it abundantly clear how we feel about passenger side ridin’ gentlemen who live at home with they mamas,,,,nd yes, son, we’re talking to you. Now, the classic Hype Williams directed video (and big ol’ shout out, Ms. Kandi Burruss for the penmanship!) !!) over-and-over again forever.
3.Because we’ll never, ever, ever feel unpretty thanks to “Unpretty”
“You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in the position to make me feel so
(Yeah) I’ll make you feel unpretty too”
No further statements except to say that TLC‘s Billboard Hot 100 owning anthem about lovin’ ya damn self is still ridiculously relevent in today’s social media driven body focus and culture. Leave it to our groovy gals to make us think once again about some life shit on top of their trademark beats….perhaps that’s why we’ll always love them so much. Oh, wait..it most definitely is. Plus, the accompanying “Unpretty” video, though…priceless. Now, everybody watch.
And we just can’t forget the Junior Mafia slayed “Unpretty” remix….ever.
4.thank u next, Pebbles….Picture it…June 1994. Lisa done burn the house down (right, Ms. Chili and Mr. Andre Rison?), and our dynamic trio was in a touch of, um, ignited hot water thanks to Ms. Lopes’ legal fees prior to the release of their soon-to-be universe shattering sophomore set, CrazySexyCool.
Then picture it again a year later (oh, we sooo can), that said sizzling album was certified diamond on the Billboard album charts (ten million stateside…that’s,like, a f#$k of a lot) thanks to a globally gobbling world tour and red-hot classic hits like “Creep,” “Red Light Special,” “Kick Your Game,” and of course, “Waterfalls” The gals’ fame was riding high…and as we all know from that now classic Lifetime biopic..their fortune..not so much. Right, Ms. Pebbles? Sigh..yes.
If you’ll also remember, the future for TLC’s third set around this time certainly looked bleek while Ms. “Mercedes Boy” was robbing them blind, so when it was announced that Fanmail was going to be released and that they kicked that bitch to the curb and that they we’re finally going to deservedly get theirs…we couldn’t have been more god damn happier.
As much as this five million copies selling set from our fierce gals was a comeback record of all comeback records, it was also a true redemption moment in music time to prove that they could overcome any drama…even the firestorm of shade and drama from Ms. Pebbles. Werk, ladies, werk.
5.Sigh…miss you, Ms. Lopes……While TLC released Fanmail follow-up (the vastly overlooked and dynamic) 3D in 2002, sadly, it was released a few months after our beloved Ms. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was killed in that tragic car accident while retreating in Honduras. While we could indeed go on and on about her tireless spiritual fight and music legacy (we really, really could), we just have to take a moment to remember that it was this album right here where we last saw all three of our girls working and slaying together for our music lovin’ lives. And it’s for that very splendid reason that we’ll always salute this record and make sure we know every lick and lyric to Ms. Lopes’ signature “Waterfalls” rap and have no more lonely cries..ever. Sigh, miss you boo.
6.Because it’s just a lil’ TLC teaser for CrazySexyCool’s 25th anniversary…… While there will be never be no party like a ‘Fanmail‘ reminscin’-and-openin’ party, this coveted celebration is just a precursor to the Botox worthy fact that TLC’s freshman record, CrazySexyCool, will be a quarter-of-a-fucking-century-old later this year. Put that in your Pebbles pen and smoke it because we’re going to have revisit all of that mess when the time comes.
But you know what you should do right now? Listen to TLC’s beautiful, blessed and celebrated third studio set, Fanmail. No further statements…and still don’t even try it, boo.
Cover photo courtesy of Pitchfork and not Pebbles